"It is a sign. StarClan gives our prey to us, and StarClan can take it away. We should give thanks to our warrior ancestors that we are able to eat at all. They provide every mouthful as well as our ability to hunt and feed ourselves. From the next Gathering, there will be an addition to the warrior code. Prey must be killed only to be eaten, and we must give thanks to StarClan for its life. This is the way of the warrior."
Prey, or fresh-kill, is a Clan term for the animals, both large and small, that are caught for the purpose of consumption.
The importance of eating is something that all of the Clans are concerned about every single day. They eat to keep up strength and maintain the health of the Clan as a whole. Each of the Clans have a hunting specialty, due to the terrain they are familiar with and the traditions the cats are raised by.
Many different species of prey are hunted by the warrior cats. Usually, after killing prey, a cat will give thanks to StarClan for its life, and will bury it to keep it safe from other predators until they are ready to carry it back to camp. The remains (i.e. the bones, feathers, fur) are usually buried.
Cats will not kill prey only for fun, without the intention of using it to feed oneself, or the Clan, as this is part of the warrior code. It is also in the warrior code that the hunters may not eat until they have caught prey for the rest of the Clan. Traditionally, the weaker cats will be fed before the apprentices and warriors. The leader or deputy of a Clan must send more patrols before the cold weather strikes. In leaf-bare, prey is much harder to find than in any other season.
"Crowfood" is the Clan term for prey that has left to become rotten and unfit to eat. Prey typically is considered crowfood after about one or two days since it was killed. Clan cats will occasionally eat crowfood if they are desperate and starving, but they avoid it as much as possible as it usually causes bellyaches or more severe illnesses. The word "crowfood" is also used as an insult, as in "Shut up, you mangy piece of crowfood."
In the old forest, a source of crowfood was Carrionplace, where rotten prey could always be found, but it was known to carry sickness. However, when ShadowClan was led by Brokenstar, his warriors sometimes resorted to eating it, as at the time, the warriors were used for fighting, not hunting. Crowfood is also known as carrion.
List of prey animals
Leathery gray-green or gray-brown amphibians with powerful hind legs, a small brown patch by each eye and leathery skin. About 6 cm (two to three inches) in length. Only eaten by ShadowClan.
Starlight - Littlecloud comments on his hunger and wouldn't mind eating a frog or a toad. That causes the other medicine cats to stare at him in surprise, but Littlecloud defends himself, saying, "They don't taste that bad!"
Secrets of the Clans - During the tour of the old ShadowClan camp, Boulder says to the reader "Oh, I see you've spotted a frog. I know they look pretty unappetizing - trust me, I was as reluctant as you to try them when I first came to the forest. But you should try them. Peel off the skin first - that's very chewy. Underneath, it tastes like if you mixed rabbits and fish together."
Starlight - Littlecloud comments on his hunger and wouldn't mind eating a toad or a frog. The other medicine cats exclaim in surprise, but Littlecloud defends himself, saying, "They don't taste that bad!"
A Dangerous Path - Snowkit is taken by a hawk flying over ThunderClan camp searching for prey. His mother, Speckletail, was unable to free him from the hawk's talons.
Moonrise - Crag teaches Stormfur how to hunt hawks by saving him from one. Later, Stormfur catches a hawk to share with the other travelers. It is noted that the hawk chicks are taken prey in the season of "freed-water"
Dawn - When all the Clans are starving, Tornear reports that Crowpaw had captured a hawk a few days ago.
Small fast birds of prey- speed is faster than that of a hawk's. Have tapered wings with a wide wingspan for flying. Length varies from species to species: from 25 cm to 65 cm. Most commonly taken piece of prey by the Tribe of Rushing Water.
Moonrise - Brook is chasing a mouse when a falcon gets it before her. A second prey-hunter jumps in, and the two catch the falcon and kill it before it swoops away.
Dawn - As the Clans are journeying through the mountains, they try to find the Tribe. Suddenly, they see a falcon feasting on a shrew. Three mud-streaked cats jump out at the falcon and kill it, and the Clans find the Tribe.
A common type of songbird. About 10 cm in length. Have strong stubby beaks and are pretty and colorful. Often caught by ThunderClan.
Rising Storm - Fireheart walks over to Brightpaw to see if she brought any food for the elders yet. When asked if she caught much, Brightpaw shyly replies that she caught two sparrows and a squirrel. Impressed, Fireheart praises her.
Rising Storm - Cloudpaw kills a pigeon before Fireheart is able to, making Fireheart somewhat annoyed; Cloudpaw also mistakes the pigeon for a dove. Cloudpaw catches another pigeon, but forgets to bring it back from where it was buried. When interrogated by Fireheart, Cloudpaw says that some owl probably flew off with it.
A Dangerous Path - On a patrol, Whitestorm spots pigeon feathers scattered all over the ground. When he reports to Fireheart, he adds that the place reeked of dogs. Fireheart dismisses it, and says it isn't important.
The Last Hope - A pigeon caught by Berrynose is put on the fresh-kill pile. Graystripe eyes it hopefully but is advised by Firestar to go hunting to get some exercise. Hollyleaf then jokes about Graystripe looking like the pigeon.
Black feathers with iridescent markings, bright yellow beaks. About 25 cm in length.
Midnight - Cloudtail feasts on a starling, happy there is good food even though prey is so scarce. Later, Brambleclaw gulps down a starling as Squirrelpaw asks him if he's had any more dreams from StarClan.
Black and white birds that are related to crows. Very intelligent. About 20-30 cm in length. Often killed by ThunderClan.
Forest of Secrets - Cinderpaw offers to take Bluestar some fresh-kill and she grabs a magpie. Upon lifting the bird off of the fresh-kill pile, its flesh falls away to reveal that it is covered with maggots.
A Dangerous Path - Fireheart picks a magpie from the fresh-kill pile while inviting Cloudpaw to come on a patrol with him. When Fireheart comes back from the patrol he recalls that eating the magpie seemed like a long time ago.
Large birds. Highly ornate with bright colors, wattles and long tails. About one meter in length.
Dawn - Shrewpaw chases after a pheasant over a Thunderpath, knowing that such a large bird would feed the Clan very well, and he is hit and killed by a monster. Thornclaw, Shrewpaw's mentor, explains this to Firestar when he returns to camp.
Sunrise - Brambleclaw disturbs a pheasant while leading the patrol back from the sun-drown-place. The pheasant flies out of a patch of bracken and lets out an alarm call, and scares a squirrel out of the undergrowth.
The Sight - Jaykit smelled out a wren with a belly alive with maggots in the fresh-kill pile and shows it to Leafpool, who praises him for finding it.
Dark River - When it suddenly starts raining, Hollypaw and Cinderpaw are caught in surprise. They skid in the rain, picking a wren and a mouse from the fresh-kill pile and Cinderpaw grimaces at the muddy wren.
Medium sized water birds (about 35cm in length). Mostly brown and black with some white markings. Have rounded wings. Weak fliers but fast runners and swimmers.
Firestar's Quest - After the flood, Firestar and Sandstorm continue along the river searching for the Gorge. They see many remnants of the flood including moorhens squawking miserably for lost chicks.
Have glossy black plumage, a long tail, blackish-brown legs, an orange eye ring and an orange-yellow beak. About 26 cm in length. Often caught by ThunderClan.
Forest of Secrets - Brackenpaw tries to catch a blackbird, but it senses him and flutters upward. Fortunately, Brackenpaw leaps up and catches it, but not with good technique. Fireheart cheers him up about it, and they go back to camp. Later, Sandstorm is seen eating a blackbird from the fresh-kill pile.
A Dangerous Path - Whitestorm comments that apprentices can go on a dawn patrol and then off hunting. He mentions wishing that he had that energy, and then settles to eat a blackbird.
Shattered Peace - Willie, Minty, Tess, Snapper, and Pounce come into the barn where Ravenpaw and Barley live. After the barn catches fire, Ravenpaw and Barley find Willie, Tess, Snapper and Pounce in the rafters above the chicken house. Willie sneers at them and they attack the chickens, killing some chicks.
The Heart of a Warrior - When the ThunderClan group tries to attack the rogues, the chickens notice and give out an alarm, thinking that they're part of the rogues as well.
The Rise of Scourge- Tiny was offered chicken by an old she-cat, who comments that she is surprised he doesn't know what it is, since he's a kittypet. He describes it as the most delicious thing he has ever eaten.
SkyClan's Destiny- On the patrol where they discover the pile where the rats are living, Cora finds some chicken and offers it to the Clan. She soon eats it.
Hawkwing's Journey - During SkyClan's journey, Hawkwing and Pebbleshine are searching for food when they come across a truck carrying cages of chickens. But when they are trying to get the chickens out of the cages to bring them back to the clan the truck starts to drive off with Pebbleshine in the back leaving Hawkwing distraught.
Songbird with a reddish-brown breast, brown underparts. Sometimes jet-black to gray. Mostly yellow-brown bill. About 35 cm long.
Into the Wild - When Smudge talks about Henry, he mentions that Henry caught a robin in the woods. Also, Smudge says that baby robins were out stretching their wings, after which Rusty asks if he caught any.
Starlight - A hunting patrol starts to leave when Birchkit says he wants to come too, as he's good at hunting. To prove it, he jumps at a robin at the edge of the hollow. Brambleclaw and Dustpelt lunge for him, and Brambleclaw catches him first.
Dark River - When it suddenly starts raining, Stormfur and Brook are seen crouched below the Highledge sharing a soggy robin.
The Sun Trail - When Petal and Fox are hunting, a robin starts singing in a tree, and Petal thinks about how she hates bullies and robins. She then unsuccessfully attempts to catch it. 
Small, often colorful birds with long tails, which wag frequently. About 16-19 cm in length.
Dark River - Lionpaw is hunting with Ashfur. Ashfur scolds Lionpaw when he had missed the wagtail that had escaped his paw. It flies onto a branch above the training hollow before calling in alarm and flying away.
About 25 cm - 41cm long. They are very protective of their young. Their enemies are mainly weasels who hunt their young. Mainly found on the moors. They make their nests in clumps of heather.
Tallstar's Revenge - Plumclaw is eating with Tallkit, and mentions lapwings to be her favorite, however, they are only hunted for in the breeding season. Later, Tallpaw watches as lapwings swoop down in the heather protecting their young.
Unborn birds, found in nests protected by adult birds.
Sign of the Moon - Stoneteller ends all border patrols, angrily pointing out that with the coming thaw the Tribe will be able to eat eggs and young birds stolen from nests despite the intruders stealing their other prey. This suggests that eggs and chicks are only stolen in times of greatest need.
A Dangerous Path - Graystripe catches a slippery silver fish from the river and gives it to Fireheart and Sandstorm, saying they will need prey after the fire. When they come back from the patrol, Fireheart brings the fish to Cinderpelt.
Midnight - Feathertail catches shiny golden fish from a Twoleg garden pond during the journey to Midnight. These fish are quite unlike any other fish the Clan cats have seen before.
Sunrise - Lionblaze notices a bat flying near a Twolegplace and tries to catch it. Birchfall says that he wished he'd caught it, and suggests then they could have all had a bite to eat. Lionblaze says it would been a very small bite since there were six of them.
Dark River - Mistyfoot is seen stalking a water shrew. She catches it and her whiskers twitch with triumph as she walks back to her Clan. Hollypaw sees this and realizes how hungry RiverClan is getting.
Compact animals with long legs, oval-shaped heads, long ears and light brown fur with a lighter underbelly. About 35 cm long. WindClan's main prey.
Into the Wild - Smudge mentions that wild cats that live in the woods eat live rabbits for breakfast, Firepaw catches a rabbit for Yellowfang, and Sandpaw and Dustpaw catch a plump rabbit for the elders.
The Darkest Hour - Longtail claims that he saw Tigerstar kill a few rabbits to feed to a pack of hungry dogs. Later, Tigerstar leaves a trail of dead rabbits to the ThunderClan camp.
A Dangerous Path - While Fireheart is talking to Graystripe on the border, Sandstorm pads over to them and drops a young rabbit at Fireheart's feet. Later, ThunderClan patrol finds remains of a scattered rabbit not far from camp, and Bluestar uses this as evidence to show WindClan have been stealing prey from ThunderClan.
Long, thin reptiles with mottled skin in shades of dark and light brown that range from yellow to red. On average they are about 1.5 meters, although sizes may vary between species and such. ShadowClan sometimes catch these.
Sunrise - Honeyfern is killed by a venomous snake while sacrificing her life to prevent Briarkit from getting bitten. In order to stop anymore snake-provoked deaths in the hollow, Firestar devises a plan for the snake to eat a mouse stuffed with deathberries and thorns, however the plan fails, leaving the cats to constantly put stones across the area in which the snake had been living in.
Cats of the Clans - Adderkit is killed by a bite from a venomous adder, hence his name. Tallstar avenged the young kit's death by killing the snake shortly afterwards.
Venomous snakes with long scaly bodies. Greenish-brown color in females and steely gray in males. Body marked with indented zig-zag stripes. About 1 meter or longer in length. Also known as the common European viper.
Into the Wild - An adder is caught by Ravenpaw on a hunting assessment when he is assigned to Snakerocks, impressing both Graypaw and Firepaw.
A Dangerous Path - Fireheart takes a patrol to Snakerocks, and Thornpaw is eager to start hunting. Fireheart reminds him that there are adders around there, and Thornpaw becomes more wary.
Cats of the Clans - Adderkit is killed by a snake bite, hence the name. Tallstar avenged the young kit's death by killing the snake shortly afterwards.
Mapleshade’s Vengeance - At a Gathering, a ShadowClan cat recalls Marshpaw stepping on an adder during a patrol, saying it was a bad way to die. Later, Mapleshade confronts Frecklewish by Snakerocks, and Frecklewish lunges at her. When Mapleshade dodges, the former lands in a pile of stones, where she suffers an adder bite.
Small brown reptiles with mottled, leathery skin and low slung bodies. They also have long, whip-like tails and stuck-out legs. Many shapes and sizes, though the ones caught by Clan cats are shorter, around 15 cm
Rising Storm - Thornpaw doesn't show much respect for a squirrel, and says it was so dopey, a kit could have caught it. Later, Cloudpaw catches a squirrel nearly as big as he is.
Bluestar's Prophecy - A plump squirrel falls on top of Bluekit. Later, Bluepaw makes her first catch on her first day as an apprentice: a squirrel. The warriors and elders are noted to be especially impressed, and Bluepaw waits for a cat to pick it off the fresh-kill pile.
Rising Storm - Fireheart asks Sandstorm whether he made the right decision into bringing Cloudpaw in the camp. Sandstorm answers that she remembers the day Cloudpaw caught his first prey. He was just a tiny kit, but he went out in a blizzard to catch a vole. Afterward, he seemed proud, and looked like a Clan cat, born and bred.
A Dangerous Path - Cloudpaw takes a vole from the fresh-kill pile and angrily complains to Fireheart about its small size. Later, while on patrol, Longtail instructs Swiftpaw to practice listening for mice and voles. When the cats come back from patrol, Fireheart eats a vole that Sandstorm saved for him.
Crookedstar's Promise - When Crookedkit is with Fleck, Mitzi, and her kits, Fleck gives him a live vole, and urges him to kill it. Crookedkit mentions it is a strange tasting mouse, but Fleck corrects him, telling him it is a vole. Fleck tells him that they should bring it back to Mitzi. 
Into the Wild - Rusty is about to catch a mouse when his bell jingles and the mouse gets away. Later Firepaw catches his first prey: a mouse.
A Dangerous Path - Brightpaw is seen eating a mouse while Cloudpaw asks her to go on a hunting patrol with him. Later, Longtail instructs Swiftpaw to practice listening for mice and voles, while Fireheart spots a mouse nibbling on a seed in some brittle grass stems and kills it.
The Darkest Hour - Sorrelkit tries to catch a mouse and attempts to go hunting, but ends up following Darkstripe, meeting with Blackfoot. However, Darkstripe spots her, and feeds her deathberries in an attempt to keep her silent.
Mistystar’s Omen - Mistystar leads a patrol through some bracken, where they find a nest of hairless mice. They hunt and kill the mice, but she knows that they are too tiny to fill the fresh-kill pile.
Look like normal mice but have longer, larger ears and a long, narrow snout.
Midnight - The cats on the journey are attacked by rats near a trash dump in a big Twolegplace. Tawnypelt gets an infected bite on her shoulder, and limps painfully for most of the time, but Squirrelpaw and Midnight heal her.
The Sun Trail - While stopping for a rest as they follow the sun trail, Jagged Peak and Moon Shadow are shown bringing back a small brown bird, and a rat almost the size of a kit.
Shiny, wide-bodied, black insects with black legs.